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Funding Update: May 27, 2011

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NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded April 28 — May 25, 2011

Novel Methodologies for Genome-scale Evolutionary Analysis of Multi-locus data
Start Date: July 1, 2011
Expires: June 30, 2014
This grant was awarded to three investigative teams:
$349,999, Tandy Warnow, C. Randal Linder, University of Texas, Austin
$467,429, Noah Rosenberg, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
$425,000, Luay Nakhleh, Rice University

The funds support the development and implementation of algorithms and software to analyze gene genealogies or gene trees. The investigators will develop computational methods for determining the causes of gene tree discordance, and inferring species phylogenies from gene trees despite their discordance from genome-scale datasets.


Semiparametric conditional graphical models with applications to gene network analysis
Start Date: July 1, 2011
Expires: June 30, 2012
This grant was awarded to three investigative teams:
$25,667, Hongyu Zhao, Yale University
$54,977, Li Bing, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
$9,389, Hyonho Chun, Purdue University

Supports the development of a conditional Gaussian graphical model for constructing gene networks that incorporates information other than expression data. Although they are beginning with gene networks, the investigators believe their approach could have applications beyond genomics, such as in predicting asset returns and in studying social networks.


Statistical Methodology and Applications to Economics, Engineering and Genetics
Start Date: July 1, 2011
Expires: June 30, 2012
Awarded Amount to Date: $128,100
Principal Investigators: Tze Lai, David Siegmund
Sponsor: Stanford University

Supports the development of sequential Monte Carlo and Bayesian methods for identifying genomic regions containing a gene or genes that affect traits of interest in either humans or in experimental organisms. These methods could also be applied to engineering, finance, insurance, risk management, and surveillance.


Population Genomics of Cold Adaptation in Poplar
Start Date: March 23, 2011
Expires: Aug. 31, 2012
Awarded Amount to Date: $441,650
Principal Investigator: Matthew Olson
Sponsor: Texas Tech University

The funds will support the development of tools to identify the genetic basis for phenotypic variation in bud set — an important determinant of cold adaptation and growth rate — in Populus balsamifera, the Ontario balsam poplar. The investigators will test whether the same genes are responsible for variation and adaptive evolution of bud set in North American P. balsamifera and the European aspen P. tremula.


A Theoretical and Computational Framework for Linking Tree form and Function to Forest Diversity and Productivity
Start Date: Dec. 15, 2010
Expires: May 31, 2011
Awarded Amount to Date: $213,189
Principal Investigator: Kiona Ogle
Sponsor: Arizona State University

Supports the development of a scaling framework for understanding forest diversity and productivity. The investigators aim to develop data-model integration methodologies, including dynamic process models that link tree form and function, incorporate key plant functional traits, and are applicable to broad spatial and temporal scales; new meta-analysis methods for analyzing vast amounts of literature on species-specific traits that incorporate phylogenetic relationships and overcome limitations common to classical meta-analytic approaches; and rigorous statistical and computational methods for informing the process model with large and disparate data sources.


The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.